Traditional education is vanishing. Many schools are confronted with new technicalities and competences for classes being carried out remotely, lower numbers of students enrolling in their programs, uncertainties regarding the future of education, and lack of guidance while stepping into unknown territory during such unprecedented times.
Many educational institutions remain traditional with little initiative in using digital tools, missing the opportunities to meet the needs of tech-savvy students and increase student enrollment. The current reality is different, and yet some keep anchored to old values. Adapting to student demographics, interests and behaviors has never been more essential for educational organizations in order to remain competitive and be ready for the aftermath of this new era where technology must be dealt with not as a challenge, but as a great facilitating mean.
The economic and social crisis brought by the Coronavirus has rendered education marketing more complicated, on one side having to emotionally convince students to undertake a certain academic path at a given institution, and on the other side dealing with the increasing financial difficulties of the parents sponsoring their children's educational costs.
Perception and priorities around education have changed throughout the years and generations. Baby Boomers, that experienced the post-war world, saw education as a right; Generation X, shaped by the technological boom and the Internet, experienced studying as a mean towards a goal; Millennials who had the chance to study abroad, see education as an investment; Generation Z, the so-called digital natives, tend to decide on their education path based on meaning and purpose. Therefore, nowadays it has become of paramount importance that looking-forward Higher Education institutions discern how Generation Alpha will choose their future studies.
Would they increasingly demand technological tools or request a more traditional approach? Would they be highly influenced by parents or take more ownership on the research process of their education development? Would they engage on a lifelong learning approach or rather enter the job market straight away and leave education as an optional good for later decision?
The education landscape has suddenly changed. It is time to embrace a new concept of education and capacity building, instead of waiting and be swept away by this new game-changer wave impending on us. Envisioning the current pandemic as an opportunity to proactively welcome the substantial digital transformation can only aim to bring new generations off the beaten path.